While self-produced Annina Melissa dropped her newest release “Behind Flesh” on July 8, 2021, we can’t stop thinking about it or how this talented artist does it all! The track is a full four minutes long and takes the mind on a journey of introspection. “Behind Flesh” was written and mixed to make you think.
“Are you afraid of the darkness?” The question is asked throughout the song and seems to invite you to think about your demons and fears. It begs you to consider them and reach a certain level of peace. The overall sound is haunting, almost creepy. It almost reminds me of the Underworld movies – that dark, futuristic sound. Did it make me take a deeper look inside my own mind? In a way, yes. It took me on a journey with my bipolar and borderline personality disorders in a good way. Introspection is always a good thing and there is nothing wrong with examining the psyche.
Annina Melissa’s voice really sells the whole vibe of “Behind Flesh” because her voice is just clear with the right amount of drama that lends to the hauntedness of the song. Add in the chittering percussion and the echo of the bass and you get perfection for a dive into the darkness.
So, are you afraid of the darkness? If dark pop is your thing, definitely check out “Behind Flesh” by Annina Melissa. And don’t forget to follow her socials or check out her website for more updates on this London-based artist.
Q&A with Annina Melissa
Q: I love the dark vibe of “Behind Flesh”! What inspired it?
ANNINA: Thank you very much, I’m happy to hear that.
Music for me has always been therapeutic. We all have dark aspects, inner shadows, demons, whatever you want to call it – things we don’t want other people to see or find hard to share. But it’s the sharing, the authenticity, the acceptance and support that we show up with to one another that determine the quality of our relationships. It takes a lot of courage to tap into that vulnerability and allow yourself to be seen for who you really are, light and dark aspects of one’s self alike.
It takes equal courage to love someone in that same manner, whole-heartedly, for what could be more loving than to look at someone’s wounds and scars, or any uncomfortable parts, shine a light on them and love them anyway? There can be so much beauty amidst the broken, the dark. A spirit that refuses to give up against all odds, the capacity for kindness and understanding towards someone else when you’re struggling yourself, and so on – it’s what makes us human. And I wish we celebrated it more and didn’t shy away from what we perceive as dark or uncomfortable so much.
Life isn’t always pretty but it can be beautiful in surprising ways if one is willing to own and open up about the shortcomings, the challenges, the failures, the hurt in a meaningful way. To truly see someone and to truly be seen can be a gift. Being that vulnerable can also be a scary thing to do.
The menacing undercurrent in the song is a constant reminder of the risk involved – are you going to dare and be brave, or let fears dictate your life? Are you afraid of the darkness or are you ready to bare it all and leap into the unknown? Real love takes guts. It takes grit. So the song explores several facets but at the core of it is the theme of emotional intimacy. In the end, it’s a love song.
Q: What does your creative process look like?
ANNINA: It can start with anything, really. I don’t operate by a rule book. I often write the initial song sitting down at the piano, but I have also started songs with nothing but lyrics or a strange sound before. I have an extensive collection of weird and wonderful sounds I have recorded over time. There’s a natural rhythm all around us, if you listen for it – I find that fascinating. I process them and make samples which are used a lot in my Cyberpunk project Razorchild.
If there’s a topic that stimulates me intellectually or affects me emotionally, it’s likely I’ll write about it in some way. I’m mostly inspired by my own experiences or mediums other than music, like books, stories, movies or art, so the expression of music becomes similar to a translation. I’ve had this urge all my life – to take something and transform it into a musical creation. Since I have auditory-visual synesthesia music is a vastly visual experience for me anyway, so I assume that’s connected.
Q: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
ANNINA: I would love to collaborate with a legend like Danny Elfman, James Newton Howard or Hans Zimmer.
Or someone iconic like Trent Reznor, Björk or Maynard James Keenan.
Q: How would you describe the music scene in London?
ANNINA: In one word, I’d say ‘resilient’. The pandemic hit everyone hard but it also showcased the passion people have for music. I’ve attended countless online gigs from fellow artists, gave performances myself, participated in online conferences and networking events on a regular basis and feel that the space I used to inhabit has opened up wide and isn’t tied to one location anymore. It’s crazy to me that my music is played on Japanese radio stations e.g. and I’m incredibly grateful to live in a time in which technology expands the boundaries of connection. I feel extremely optimistic about the future.
Q: What do you do when you’re not creating music?
ANNINA: I create in other ways. It also helps that I work in the games industry and am constantly surrounded by insanely creative, solution-focused individuals. If you’re creative in one area, it’s likely you’re creative in other areas as well. I have numerous niche interests and generally love to explore life and learn new things. Keeping mentally and physically active makes me feel alive. I’m never bored.
Q: Any parting words for your fans?
ANNINA: Thank you everyone, for your support and for taking the time to check out my work! I’m deeply appreciative that people relate to my art. There are some interesting things lined up, so keep an eye out.
And thank you too, Dana, for the pleasant interview.
Reviewed & Interviewed by Dana L. Sullivan
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